Published on June 23rd, 2013 | by Mathias10
Solar Cell Efficiency World Record Set By Sharp — 44.4%
June 23rd, 2013 by Mathias
Editor’s Note: In May, Sharp regained the world’s triple-junction, non-concentrator solar cell efficiency record — 37.9%. Now, it has also taken the overall world solar cell efficiency record — 44.4%. Here’s another repost from Solar Love on the news.
A research team at Sharp Corporation has announced that it has created a solar cell capable of converting 44.4% of incoming sunlight into electricity. The solar cell is of the “concentrator triple-junction compound” type, which basically is a lens-based system that focuses sunlight.
The high conversion efficiencies that we see with compound solar cells are due to several photoabsorbing layers typically made from indium and gallium. Sharp’s record-setting solar cell uses three layers (InGaP top, GaAs middle, and InGaAs bottom), as you can see on the illustration below:
Comparing to the best efficiencies of solar panels on the market today is not really fair, as these solar panels are cost-competitive. A better comparison would be against other research cells in NREL’s Best Research Cell Efficiencies.
The last record (44.0%) was set by the NREL III-V Multijunction Photovoltaics Group in November, 2012.
Compound solar cells are mostly used in space satellites where high conversion rates and good space-efficiency are more important than costs. Sharp is looking to use the technology of compound solar cells in terrestrial applications in the future.
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
Haven’t taken our 2016 reader survey yet? Do so now!